Calls for opposition Moderate leader to be replaced before 2018 Swedish election: reports

Strong voices within Sweden's centre-right opposition Moderate party are calling for leader Anna Kinberg Batra to be replaced before the 2018 election, according to reports in two Swedish newspapers.

Calls for opposition Moderate leader to be replaced before 2018 Swedish election: reports
Moderate leader Anna Kinberg Batra. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Dagens Industri reports that the internal Moderate criticism of Kinberg Batra is strongest in the Stockholm region, where many in leading positions want the opposition head to resign, and may even make a request for her to do so in the coming days.

Expressen also cites sources making similar claims.

“Kinberg Batra is going to go up in smoke. The frustration is too great, leadership weakened and the local councils are irritated. She'll go before the election,” a source told the tabloid.

READ ALSO: Could crisis in the opposition bring a new political climate in Sweden?

Much of the criticism is to do with the party leader and leadership's communication, according to an anonymous Moderate MP Expressen spoke to:

“The party leadership's message is confused and conflicting.”

The Moderates have been polling poorly in recent months, and Kinberg Batra has clashed with other party heads within the centre-right Alliance coalition, in particular over their stance on the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats.

A poll carried out by Ipsos for Dagens Nyheter published last week had the Moderates at 15 percent. According to Expressen, the calls for Kinberg Batra to leave come in the wake of the party's analysis head Per Nilsson informing their Riksdag leaders of horror results in a new SCB poll due to be published on Thursday, where they could have dropped to as low at 14.5 percent.

The November edition of the same poll had the Moderates at 22.8 percent, while in the 2014 Riksdag election they took 23.33 percent of the vote.

READ ALSO: How significant is Moderate MP's defection to Sweden Democrats?


Swedish political parties call for ban on conversion therapy

Multiple political parties in Sweden's parliament want to ban so-called conversion therapy, which aims to change young LGBT+ individuals’ sexual orientation.

Swedish political parties call for ban on conversion therapy

The Liberals have campaigned for a ban for some time, and a motion has now been submitted to parliament by the Social Democrats. Now, the Moderates and the Centre Party are joining them in calling for conversion therapy to be made illegal, Sweden’s public broadcaster Radio Ekot reports.

“The entire idea is that homosexuality is an illness which can and should be treated. That is, obviously, completely incorrect and a very out-of-place view in a modern society,” Centre’s spokesperson on legal issues, Johan Hedin, told the radio.

Conversion therapy consists of subjecting LGBT+ individuals to pressure or force to hide their sexuality or gender identity. According to MUCF, the Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society, it occurs “to a not insignificant extent” in Sweden.

“We think there should be a ban. Sweden should be a tolerant country, where nonsense like this quite simply shouldn’t be allowed to happen,” Johan Forssell, the Moderate’s legal spokesperson told Radio Ekot.